It is important to understand the inherent risk posed to both officer and citizen when an officer is performing a traffic stop. Factors such as location, traffic volume, and time of day all play a significant role. If you believe that you are being signaled to stop by the police, you should immediately pull the right shoulder or as far to the right as possible and stop. Texas Transportation Code 545.156 states:
"An operator, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, shall:
By adhering to this law, the overall safety of the stop can be significantly increased. The Schertz Police Department recommends that you acknowledge the officer's intent to stop. This can be done by simply reducing speed, signaling your intent to pull over, or activating your emergency flashers. Next, you should calmly and safely begin changing lanes to the right until you are able to stop in a safe location. Upon stopping, it is recommended that you turn on any interior lights if applicable and wait inside the vehicle for the officer to approach you. It is not recommended that you exit the vehicle and walk back to meet the officer. This may put you a significant risk to oncoming traffic, especially on the highway.
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Generally speaking, it is not recommended that you stop on the left-hand shoulder. Although it is understood that certain circumstances may leave a motorist no other option, such as an immediate break down of the vehicle to which it is unfeasible to safely pull over to the right or to avoid an imminent crash, motorist should be aware that responding emergency vehicles generally pass on the left and that during heavy traffic may use the left-hand shoulder to safely and quickly pass.
As stated previously, state law requires you to pull to the right and stop. Pulling over to the left is considered a violation of that statute. However more importantly, traffic stops are a leading cause of officer injuries and fatalities. When you are stopped by the police and you stop on the left, this places you and the officer at a tremendous risk should another motorist crash into either one of your vehicles. Especially for the officer who may be standing outside your vehicle with no protection offered from the mass of a police vehicle or safety belt.
If you are issued a citation and you feel that the officer was incorrect in his reasoning, you should discuss your disagreement with the Schertz Municipal Court. It is not recommended that motorists argue or attempt to dissuade the officer from issuing the citation. Officers do not issue citations if they believe there is any doubt that you have committed a violation. Also, all traffic stops by the Schertz Police Department are recorded using on-board police vehicle video camera systems and may be subpoenaed by either the defense or prosecution in Court.